West European Studies | Special Topies in W European Studies: The Idea of Europe
W405 | 26818 | Bucur-Davis, M
01:00P-02:15P MW BH 103 3 cr.
Obtain on-line permission from department.
Above section meets with HIST-B 303.
What is Europe? What are its borders? What or how can be
considered “European” (other than according to Jerry Seinfeld) and
why? If you have ever asked yourself this, if you wonder, for
instance, what is the relationship between the European Union--its
institutions, its functions, and its future goals—and Europe at
large, this is a course you should take. Though focusing on the
Idea of Europe from antiquity until today, this course is not one
strictly for those interested in European studies. It is as
important to look at times at how people outside of Europe have
defined this continent and its people.
We will look in turn at how map makers, political leaders,
philosophers, artists, writers, and yes, average people, have
negotiated over the meaning of “Europeanness.” In this course we
will examine how these definitions and the significance have changed
over time, and what impact they’ve had over the politics, societies,
and cultures of Europe. The course will include a number of common
readings, as well as some team projects that will focus on maps,
popular culture (films, etc.), literature, ideas, and historical
narratives. Students will be asked to examine both primary sources—
maps, art, movies, fiction, documents—as well as secondary sources
that analyze Europeanness from a scholarly perspective.
The exercises we will perform in class and the various written
course assignments will enable students to think analytically,
identify critical issues and also be creative about finding
solutions for such problems.